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U.S. Stocks May Give Back Ground In Early Trading

After ending yesterday’s lackluster session narrowly mixed, stocks may move to the downside in early trading on Wednesday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a lower open for the markets, with the S&P 500 futures down by 0.4 percent.

Lingering uncertainty about the outlook for interest rates may weigh on the markets following Tuesday’s remarks by Minneapolis Federal Reserve President Neel Kashkari.

Kashkari suggested interest rates may need to remain at current levels for an “extended period” and said he couldn’t rule out another rate increase.

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The Federal Reserve is still widely expected to lower rates sometime in the third quarter, although traders may take the opportunity to cash in on some of the recent strength in the markets.

While the major averages ended yesterday’s trading narrowly mixed, they all remain at their best levels in about a month.

Nonetheless, overall trading activity may remain subdued amid another relatively quiet day on the U.S. economic front.

A report on weekly jobless claims may attract attention on Thursday, while the University of Michigan is due to release its preliminary reading on consumer sentiment in May on Friday.

Among individual stocks, shares of Uber Technologies (UBER) are moving sharply lower in pre-market trading after the ride-hailing giant reported an unexpected first quarter loss on weaker than expected booking revenue.

Cloud communications company Twilio (TWLO) is also likely to come under pressure after reporting first quarter results that exceeded estimates but providing disappointing second quarter revenue guidance.

Meanwhile, shares of Reddit (RDDT) are seeing substantial pre-market strength after the social media company reported a narrower than expected first quarter loss on revenues that beat expectations.

Ride-hailing company Lyft (LYFT) is also likely to move to the upside after reporting first quarter results that exceeded analyst estimates on both the top and bottom lines.

Stocks saw modest strength throughout much of the trading session on Tuesday but gave back ground in afternoon trading to end the day little changed. The Dow still managed to close higher for the fifth consecutive session, reaching its best closing level in a month.

The major averages ended the day narrowly mixed. While the Nasdaq edged down 16.69 points or 0.1 percent to 16,332.56, the Dow crept up 31.99 points or 0.1 percent to 38,884.26 and the S&P 500 inched up 6.96 points or 0.1 percent to 5,187.70.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Wednesday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index slumped by 1.6 percent and China’s Shanghai Composite Index slid by 0.6 percent, while South Korea’s Kospi climbed by 0.4 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have all moved to the upside on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index has advanced by 0.7 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index is up by 0.3 percent and the German DAX Index is up by 0.1 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are tumbling $1.06 to $77.32 a barrel after edging down $0.10 to $78.38 a barrel on Tuesday. Meanwhile, an ounce of gold is trading at $2,325.50, up $1.30 compared to the previous session’s close of $2,324.20. On Tuesday, gold slipped $7.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 155.59 yen compared to the 154.69 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Tuesday. Against the euro, the dollar is trading at $1.0739 compared to yesterday’s $1.0755.

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